Easter Eggs

Easter Eggs

Coloring Easter eggs was always a tradition in our family, usually the day before. Over the years my brothers and I developed a variety of techniques that not a lot of people seem to use or know about, using things like Scotch tape, sponges, and layers of clear wax crayoning. Above are some from 1991. For many years Ellen and I would decorate some at home and bring them up with us for family visits at Easter, but the last five years or so we decorate them at Ellen’s sister Ann’s house after we get there instead, along with the rest of Ann’s family, and then have a judging competition in various categories. It’s fun. We didn’t go up this year, though, as Ellen wasn’t feeling well yesterday, so we missed the egg dyeing this year.

At home, when we were kids, there were some other Easter traditions. Our mom would secretly make an Easter basket for each of us the night before, and on Easter morning we had to search the house for them. One memorable year my brother Doug was climbing up on the clothes dryer to look in the cabinet above when he accidentally turned on the dryer. Immediately there was a huge clatter from inside it, and my mom rushed to turn it off. His basket had been inside! Doug howled, but the rest of us had a good laugh, and helped him put it all back together, no harm done.

In the afternoon my dad would take all the dyed eggs and hide them around the yard for our Easter egg hunt, when we were usually joined by our cousins. This was fun, but sometimes he hid them TOO well. Several times I remember mowing the lawn a month or more later, hearing a crunch, and then having to run from the putrid odor of rotten egg as the mower found one left behind.

Easter egg hunt

My brother Doug continues that tradition at his house, but with plastic eggs, each having a small prize or piece of candy inside. My niece and nephew and all their cousins and friends enjoy it. I often help hide the eggs.

Finally, there’s the egg eating, but before that another small bit of competition. Everyone would sit around the table with their favorite colored egg in hand, and take turns tapping points with a neighbor to see which egg would break. Unbroken winners would tap each other, until one egg had triumphed. Sometimes the winning egg was saved, sometimes not.

My family is of German heritage, and we always had our eggs with a little vinegar on them. Many people, including those who married into our family, thought that very odd, but I like it, personally. A bit like a pickled egg, I guess.

That’s the egg story in our family.

4 thoughts on “Easter Eggs

  1. RAB

    There must be recipes in many different cultures that combine egg and vinegar. Salads, pastries, dressings…um, scotch eggs? People often add vinegar to the water when poaching eggs to make the whites firm up. Really, anyone who finds it an odd combination should stop and think for a moment about mayonnaise…

  2. Lawrence McKenna


    My daughter loved this blog. Do you have any instructions for coloring eggs, any good books, etc? It would be neat if you’d do an egg-coloring segment similar to what you do with recipes and letter studies. At least it would make my daughter happy!

    Thanks for this post,

  3. Todd Post author

    Hi Lawrence,

    I was thinking of doing a step-by-step on some of the eggs we colored this year, but then we didn’t get to color any, so I guess it will have to wait until next year, I’m afraid. The easiest one involves small pieces of scotch tape. Put a few on a white egg, die a light color like yellow, put a few more on, die a darker color like green or pink, put a few more on, die a darker color like blue or red, then take off the tape pieces that have white under them, and die another color, like purple. Finally dry the egg and remove all the tape.

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